The fifth child of Frank and Julie Ryan, Lucy Lawless found the joy of acting in secondary school. At Auckland University, she studied foreign languages for a year. She then left for Europe with her boyfriend, Garth Lawless, to travel around Germany and Switzerland. They went back and landed a job with a mining company in Australia.
In 1988, Lucy and Garth were married. They returned to New
Zealand and had a daughter, Daisy (born July 15, 1988). They
divorced in 1995. Lawless married Xena executive producer,
Robert G. Tapert, on March 28, 1998. The couple have two sons:
Julius Robert Bay Tapert (born October 16, 1999) and Judah Miro
Tapert (born May 7, 2002).
Lawless had a guest role in 1990 on New Zealand TV series Shark in the Park, around the same time compatriot Karl Urban appeared. In March 1995, Vanessa Angel was supposed to play a new character, the villainess Xena, in an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but became sick and was unable to travel to New Zealand. Lawless had previously played two different characters in Hercules, so the directors chose her as a replacement (though her hair had to be dyed to distinguish her from the previous, unrelated characters). Played by the 1.79 m (5'10 1/2") Lawless, Xena's character became popular and got her own series, Xena: Warrior Princess which debuted on 4 September 1995. The show was a hit, lasting six seasons.
An example of the popularity of Xena: Warrior Princess is that Lawless is a universally recognized celebrity despite the fact that she has not had a major role outside of the television series. She was even portrayed as a character on The Simpsons (playing a super-powered, flying version of herself).
In 1997, Lucy Lawless was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine. Days earlier on 6 May 1997, Lawless famously and inadvertently exposed one of her breasts (resulting from a wardrobe malfunction) while singing the US national anthem at an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, California between the Mighty Ducks and Detroit Red Wings. She later said (quoted in Newsweek): "I was mortified. . . . It was quite a bit more exposure than I want".
Lucy Lawless has since appeared in the V----- Monologues, on the first two episodes of the ninth season of The X-Files, and in the short-lived (eight episodes) television series Tarzan. She has had brief appearances in the movies Eurotrip, Spider-Man, and the horror film Boogeyman. Her next role was on TV battling bugs in her new TV-movie Locusts! Lawless also made a guest appearance in an episode of the second season of TV drama series Veronica Mars.
From 2005, Lawless has a recurring role in the television series Battlestar Galactica. She portrays D'anna Biers, a reporter with the Fleet News Service who works on a critical documentary about the crew of the Galactica and who – in secret – is revealed to be Number Three, one of twelve basic Cylon humanoid robot models that has infiltrated the ship to gather information. As a blonde and using her native New Zealand accent, many fans of Battlestar Galactica have commented that they did not realize the actress was Lawless, which dispelled early fears that her appearance might be a blatant cameo. In fact her character met with popular acceptance with the fans. Lawless appears in an episode later in the second season and, moreover, recurs in a 10-episode arc in the 20-episode long third season. According to interviews, while reluctant to get too heavily involved in TV, she really liked the writing, plots twists, and overall handling of the series; moreover, series executive producer David Eick had originally worked with her on Xena.
Due to her character Xena's ambiguous s--uality, Lawless gained a large cult following in the lesbian community. A new term, dykon, was coined to describe her status as a gay icon. Although she is heteros--ual, Lawless has enhanced this reputation by appearing at gay pride events such as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
During Xena's run, fans speculated that she was being considered for the lead in a theatrical Wonder Woman film.
This Lucy Lawless Biography Page is Copyright Biography World © 2004 - 2010